Apart from me, you can do nothing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

When my alarm went off at 4am this morning, I can't say I had the best attitude about spending the day at the hospital.

But as I drove through dark, empty streets on my way to the hospital, this one verse would not leave my mind:

"I am the vine, you are the branches. 
If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. 
Apart from me, you can do nothing." 
John 15:5

I hadn't even read that verse recently, so I knew it was the Lord. It was (obviously) very appropriate for the day I was about to face, so as I pulled into my parking space, I pulled out my Bible and read the rest of the passage.

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you... I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - fruit that will last - and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 
This is my command: Love each other." 
John 15:12,15-17

I can't even think of a more applicable chapter for today.
Today, a day I learned a lot about what truly loving each other means.
No, I'd never seen my patient before this morning, but it didn't matter. She was in so much pain and was grieving the news of her prognosis, and she needed love more than she needed any pill or surgery.

So I did my nursing duties, just as I would always do, but I prayed how I could show her love.
Today, it meant two very simple things: a foot massage (because who doesn't love that?!) and prayer. I felt like the Lord led me to both things that helped her to relax, to breathe a little deeper than she had in days, and to feel loved. At the end of our prayer, she cried. And then I cried, because she cried, because that just happens sometimes.

It was two very simple things, but I think they made such a difference. I'm learning so much about those who have passion for the ministry of nursing and those who just do their jobs. I want to be the former, that's for sure.

If you've ever been on a missions trip, you know this phenomenon. You go to serve and help and teach others, but it ends up being the opposite way around. They serve and help and teach you more than you could ever give to them. I feel the same way about nursing. Sure, I know all days won't be this fulfilling. But I learned so much from her today and learned about myself how fulfilling it is to truly love.

I am so, so thankful for today.

There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in - that we do it to God, to Christ, and that's why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.
Mother Teresa


  1. Thank you for sharing this! I know you're so busy, but your posts like this one motivate me, and encourage me. :)

  2. I always love quotes from Mother Theresa... I have yet to read one that wasn't wise, loving, and inspirational

  3. Thank you so much - that verse really spoke to me - I even made my husband read it! You encouraged someone in Auckland, New Zealand today - how often can you say that?

  4. This is just what I needed today Whitney! I've been going through the same things, and this was totally from God. Just a confirmation that me going to Him for help was what was right! :) You're an awesome nurse. I wish you were here at our hospitals!! :D

  5. this made me cry and is a beautiful reminder that no matter the profession you can show love, because we are loved. i will pray for eyes to see and take opportunities to be His love.


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